Saturday, September 8, 2018

Scenes of Summer


Wow, what a difference 20-30 degrees make! All summer long, the heat and humidity have had me in a brain fog. But it's 65˚today; I’m clear headed and ready to roll.

What made my summer special were ordinary moments, shared with extraordinary friends!

Wanda Hanson of Exuberant Color surprised me with this remarkable gift. It’s one of her signature batik colorwash quilts. Read more about it here


She gave me the colors of summer to enjoy all year long!


Many friends came to visit, in spite of the oppressive heat. Over coffee or lunch, we’d natter away, bare our souls, then laugh ourselves silly. 


Friends generously shared the bounty of their gardens and kitchens -- fresh picked tomatoes and basil, delicious peach cobbler, and the best blueberry pie I've ever tasted!


Which enabling friend helped me make this fabric purchase? It's the best kind of fiber therapy!


When was the last time you were read to? Ask a friend -- It's bliss! Gwen Marston’s The Magic Forest 
  

By the end of summer, my friends had convinced me to accept one more gift — the realization that I’m deserving of kindness, love, respect, and the occasional niceties of life -- that I am “enough” just as I am. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

At Last!


What a welcome sight -- a glimpse of spring, shared by my friend Debbie, from her neighborhood in Geneva, Illinois. These are crocuses, often known as the heralds of spring because they grow while there’s still snow on the ground. 

I love the way these hardy little blossoms blanket the landscape with purple, lavender, yellow and white. They spread with abandon through the grass, creating a crazy quilt of color.


The crocuses remind me of a Dutchman’s Puzzle quilt I bought years ago. What originally drew me to it were the gently faded fabrics, 1940s prints in springtime colors.


The quilt is lightweight and soft from years of use, which makes it perfect for sleeping under on a cool spring night.


It is quilted by hand with small, even stitches in simple designs--outline quilting in the pieced blocks... 



and a teacup pattern in the muslin squares. 


I don't generally go for pastel quilts, but maybe we all become fans of the softer hues when the weather warms up and the flowers are in bloom. 


Friday, March 16, 2018

Midwinter Blues


As I get older, I’m more and more grateful for my February birthday. Having something to celebrate midwinter keeps the blues at bay. This year, there were so many cards, phone calls, Facebook messages, impromptu visitors, gifts of coffee, flowers, tasty treats, and surprises in the mail, I never had time to feel sorry for myself! Thanks family and friends for making my birthday special.

Barb and I continue our tradition of swapping doll quilts (or the like) on one another's birthdays. This year's quilt from Barb is called "Midwinter Blues" and was originally designed by Lori DeJarnatt of Humble Quilts for her 2014 blog sew-along. You can get instructions to make your own at the following links: Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Finale.





Barb's fabrics are exquisite, aren't they? Have you ever seen such deeply saturated blues? And the variety of cheddar prints she used makes the quilt sparkle.

She also chose one of her favorite designs for the quilting—an overall teacup pattern, machine stitched with silk thread. 




Want to guess what's on the back? It’s always a surprise.








If you look closely at the label, you'll see the secret this quilt holds. Barb originally made it for our dear friend, Mary, and has now entrusted it to me. Thank you Barb. I’m honored by your gift!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

“Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!”


Happy holidays everyone! I hope this finds you well and looking forward to a brand new year.

For those of you living outside the purple zone on the weather map, it’s bitterly cold here, with single digit temperatures and double digit below zero wind chills. That’s breath-taking cold. Bone chilling cold. Frostbite cold! Jim has kept his "arctic" expeditions to a minimum, braving the elements only to trek down the driveway for mail or to shovel snow. Each time he opens the storm door, it whines in protest with an icy screech of metal on metal, as if to ask, “Are you sure you want to venture out today?” 

I'm keeping warm under a cozy new quilt that my friend, Mary Conley, gave me for Christmas. "The blocks might look familiar," she whispered, as she placed it in my lap to open. Indeed they did! They were red and green nine patches I'd abandoned years before when I first started sorting my life into projects worth my energy and those that were not. 

Apparently, Mary saw more potential in my castoffs than I did. Imagine her stitching them together almost 20 years later, and returning them to me as a finished quilt! 

I love the homespun plaid she used as an alternate fabric. It really accentuates the “on point” blocks, especially when contrasted with a “straight set” border. The quilting is a swirling, blustery, wind-like design. How appropriate!



    
Mary, Thank you for your kindness. I'll cherish this quilt and think of our friendship whenever I sleep under it, which in this weather will be just about every night

Friday, July 21, 2017

Will Strip for Fabric!


Hi everyone. Hope you're keeping cool this summer. I get so lethargic and irksome in this heat. Most days, it’s hard for me to do much more than nap! 

My Piecemaker friends, Sheila and Kathy, found photos of quilts made from the Kaleidoscope fabric exchange I described in my previous post. It’s fun to see how different they all turned out. Enjoy! 





























Oh, and here’s our friend, Patt, dressed as a stripper, because... well... how else would you dress for a "strip" swap?



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hey, Macarena!


It’s been a while since I posted a bona fide, start to finish, sewn with my own two hands kind of quilt. I had to go back 20 years to find one, but this Kaleidoscope pretty much fits the bill.


Are you surprised to see a pastel color scheme from me? Generally, I don’t use soft colors. Here’s how I managed to collect such a wide variety. My Piecemaker friends swapped fabrics to make these Kaleidoscope quilts. Each of us took six yards of pastels from our own collection and cut them into 120 strips to share with the group.


On the day of the swap, the tables were piled high with pastel fabrics of all sorts. We paraded around the room to the festive rhythm of “Macarena,” eagerly snatching a strip from each table we passed. With all the laughter and fabric flying, we probably looked like a crazy Conga line or grown-up game of Musical Chairs. Nah, just quilters having fun. "Hey, Macarena!”

For my quilt, I chose colors and prints reminiscent of the 1930s. After sorting and sewing strips together, I cut the eight segments required for each block using this 45 Degree Kaleidoscope Wedge Ruler.  (It includes directions for block and quilt construction.)



I had fun coordinating the colors within blocks... 






but, I like the scrappiness of random fabrics just as much.









Nothing went to waste; leftover strips found their way into the scrappy border.




84" x 100"
Machine quilting by Stover Quality Quilting.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Another Year Older


23 February 2017

Dear Barb,

My birthday quilt arrived and I wish you could see the ear to ear grin on my face after tearing through the wrappings. What a happy piece of patchwork to open on a gray February day!




The Log Cabin doll quilt is charming. Such sweet colors! Is there anything better than pink and blue sitting side by side like this? 


Thank you for sharing your last bit of bird toile for the quilt backIt makes an elegant foil to those quirky conversation prints on the front. Baseball players and baby faces ~ Such fun!




    

Your birthday quilts always take the edge off turning another year older. Thank you for this reminder of our cherished friendship, Barb. I love it, and you too!


CLICK HERE to read about previous birthday quilts.